Expansions: Sabic starts up PP compounding in Belgium; Forward AM opens tech centre in US

Sabic starts up PP compounding in Belgium

Chemical firm Sabic has started its new polypropylene (PP) compounding line in Genk, Belgium, with a virtual inauguration event. The new line is an addition to the company’s existing production capacity for PP compounds at the Genk site and will use raw materials from Sabic’s PP plants at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and Geleen, The Netherlands. It has been equipped with extrusion technology to meet the market’s growing demand, it adds.

“This investment is part of our business strategy for growth through advanced PP compound solutions designed to help customers develop next-generation lightweight applications in industries such as automotive, home appliances and consumer goods,” says Lada Kurelec, General Manager for PP & E4P Business, Sabic. “The added capacity also enhances our on-site production flexibility for introducing innovative new PP polymer technology without compromising the security of supply of established compound products.”

The virtual opening was presided over by Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Executive Vice President for Petrochemicals, and other Sabic executives, providing insight on how customers can benefit from the company’s extended capacity to drive innovation in their markets. Al-Fageeh, added “This new production line will support our company’s strategy to develop new sustainable material solutions that help our customers achieve their goals, as we work with them in ever-closer collaboration.”

Forward AM opens tech centre in US

In other news, Forward AM, the brand of BASF 3D Printing Solutions, has opened a new Additive Manufacturing (AM) Applications Technology Centre (ATC) in Detroit, Michigan in cooperation with Michigan State University (MSU), which is involved in education and innovation in the 3D printing design and service space. The new facility will serve as the hub of expertise for solutions in the North American AM market.

With this joint commitment, education and industry combine their strengths to offer customers fully integrated 3D printing solutions: Forward AM contributes with a wide range of 3D printing materials and deep engineering expertise, while MSU brings years of technical expertise and the drive to be on the cutting edge of new ideas to support the next generations of 3D printing services and design solutions.

Through the ATC, new technical services are available to customers, like predictive modelling, increasing innovation potential with customers across North America. Emphasising the joint commitment to major global equipment manufacturers, Forward AM installed more than 20 3D printers of various AM technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering, Photopolymer 3D Printing and Fused Filament Fabrication at the ATC.

The centre is in an industrial contemporary Corktown area that has been transformed in recent years thanks to the relocation of many top Detroit businesses including several strategic customers of BASF. The whole AM industry will benefit from these new synergies with Michigan based partners, Forward AM adds.

“With this step we are significantly strengthening our offerings in North America. By collaborating with Michigan State University, we create a unique combination of science and industry expertise – ideal conditions to drive innovation in Additive Manufacturing together with our customers,” says François Minec, Managing Director BASF 3D Printing Solutions.

“MSU is committed to strong industry partnerships as an engine to drive innovation, economic opportunities, and skills development that meet emerging technology needs. The Scale-up Research Facility (SuRF) in Detroit, established with funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Department of Energy through the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation, is a prime example of the effectiveness of place-based innovation. BASF has been among MSU’s strongest partners at the SuRF, and we are extremely pleased to expand our relationship to assist in establishing the BASF Applications Technology Center within the SuRF space. We are confident this collaboration will result in significant advances in Additive Manufacturing, new workforce development opportunities, and sustainable economic growth,“ says Doug Gage, Vice President for Research, and Innovation Michigan State University.

The cooperation between Forward AM and MSU is complemented with an investment by BASF Corporation in the SuRF space. This investment is strengthening BASF’s strategy in Additive Manufacturing and its pursuit toward more sustainable industrial solutions.


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